Bachelor

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BACHELOR. The first degree taken at the universities in the arts and sciences, as bachelor of arts, & c. It is called, in Latin, Baccalaureus, from bacalus, or bacillus, a staff, because a staff was given, by way of distinction, into the hands of those who had completed their studies. Some, however, have derived the word from baccalaura, others from bas chevalier, as designating young squires who aspire to the knighthood. (Dupin.) But the derivation. of the word is uncertain.

References in classic literature ?
A quarter of a mile inland we came upon the holluschickie--sleek young bulls, living out the loneliness of their bachelorhood and gathering strength against the day when they would fight their way into the ranks of the Benedicts.
Consequently, in the first few weeks of his resumed bachelorhood, he even advanced upon his usual display of bustle, and every day made such a rout in renewing his investigations into the robbery, that the officers who had it in hand almost wished it had never been committed.
Scott told John he was a lucky fellow, and shook his head over the hardships of bachelorhood all the way home.